” Users rapidly appreciated the benefits of being able to compare hotel prices on different OTAs in real time anywhere in the world. “
The added value offered by OTAs when first appearing on the hotel reservation scene was the possibility they gave users to compare rates between a variety of hotels in a single location. When we got used to that service Metasearch engines appeared (Trivago, TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Ads and others) to further improve the shopping experience. Users rapidly appreciated the benefits of being able to compare hotel prices on different OTAs in real time anywhere in the world.
As technology at the service of the Hospitality Industry evolved so did the relationship between Metasearch engines and online travel agencies.
There is something here not everyone fully understands: What is a Metasearch Engine?
They are basically tools that show on a single platform the different rates and availability of hotels on the different sale channels – mainly OTAs – and that can even connect directly to hotels’ booking engines on your own website. It makes it very easy for users who simply have to enter their travel dates to obtain different accommodation options and compare prices of the same hotel on different online sale channels, selecting the one that best suits their needs.
Around 2013 Metasearch engines began to actively promote themselves on an OTA dominated market. At the time they were just booming and six years later the situation is very different currently dominating the market.
Recent studies show that users search on different sources before making a reservation decision. For example, the most technological users visit at least 20 different sites to ensure they are getting the best deal before making a reservation. This involves a lot of research work. Google data also indicates that 60% of users who initiate travel searches finish it off on a different device. This is what Metasearch want to solve so they are freeing users from this laborious task by putting all this information on a single place.
How could a hotel appear on Metasearch engines and share space with OTAs?
The first thing a hotel needs is a Booking Engine on their website to be able to connect with the most important Metasearch engines. In this sense, CM Reservas is not only responsible for providing a robust booking engine, flexible to different devices, multi-language, multi-currency and user- friendly but it also connects with the current 3 most important Metasearch engines on the market: Google Hotel Ads, Trivago and TripAdvisor. Your Hotel may appear as one of the options and users can select a direct reservation channel over the OTAs.
Metasearch engines are currently the most influential sale channels for users who are looking to book a hotel. They’ve become an alternative option offering hotels the opportunity to connect to their direct reservation channel – embodied on their website’s Booking Engine – which will competes on equal terms with OTAs without requiring a huge investment.